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Mega Millions: 95% chance someone wins jackpot, official says

March 30, 2012 | 12:25 pm

Mega Millions
There is a 95% chance someone will win the Mega Millions jackpot Friday night, a lottery official said, based on statistical data coming into the California lottery office.

"The odds of the jackpot rolling is going down significantly," Mega Millions spokesman Alex Traverso said. "Our estimates are saying that by the time the draw happens, 95% of the possible number combinations will be sold."

Traverso said California lottery officials will likely know about any big winners as early as 8:15 p.m. and plan to post the locations where the tickets were sold on their website.

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California officials said they likely won't know about other state's winners until 3 a.m. or beyond. A media release summing up all the data will likely go out Saturday morning.

Spokeswoman Donna Cordova said that there will be no more changes to the advertised jackpot prior to Friday night's drawing, but the amount at stake may continue to rise, and a new jackpot figure could be released after the winning numbers are drawn.

If no one hits the jackpot, Traverso said there is a "possibility" that Mega Millions would hold its Tuesday drawing in New York's Time Square rather than a studio in Atlanta.

"If the jackpot did roll, and we were looking at a jackpot near $1 billion, I can't imagine a better place," Traverso said. 


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-- Matt Stevens


Photo: Lottery officials said there is a 95% chance someone will win the $640-million jackpot Friday. Credit: Paul Sakuma / Associated Press